Navigation Links
Prostate Cancer Screening Doesn't Cut Death Rates: Study

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- A 20-year study from Sweden suggests that screening for prostate cancer does not substantially reduce the risk of death from the disease.

On the other hand, a good many men might receive false-positive results and overtreatment, adding an element of risk to widescale screening, the researchers report in the March 31 online issue of the BMJ.

"In the light of our findings, I would say that the benefit from screening is not sufficient to support mass screening," said study author Dr. Gabriel Sandblom, an associate professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

"However," added Sandblom, "the study was initiated more than 20 years ago, when PSA [prostate specific antigen testing] was not available and the treatment of localized prostate cancer was not as effective as it is today. I would thus not categorically advise against PSA testing based on an individual decision from a man who feels concern about prostate cancer."

This advice is not out of line with recently updated guidelines on prostate cancer screening from the U.S. government. The recommendations, issued in 2008, take a dim view of prostate cancer screenings at any age for healthy men and flatly recommend against them entirely for men over 75.

The American Cancer Society has also recently revisited the issue of prostate cancer screening.

"A little over a year ago, the American Cancer Society revised its guidelines, which reinforced the message that men need to be informed that there are known benefits, but also limits, to PSA screenings," said Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colon cancer at the American Cancer Society. "The American Cancer Society does not encourage nor discourage prostate cancer screenings."

This new study does carry with it several significant weaknesses, Brooks added. In particular, because of the timing and design of the study, most men really only received one and, at most, two PSA tests.

"At best, this is a study of one or two PSA tests in men in their late 50s and early 60s," he said.

For the study, researchers looked at all men in the Swedish city of Norrkoping who were between the ages of 50 and 69 in 1987, a total of 9,026 men.

Of these, 1,494 men were screened for prostate cancer -- first with a digital rectal exam (DRE) and, starting in 1993, with both DRE and PSA tests -- every three years.

In 1996, only men aged 69 or under were screened.

The remaining 7,532 men did not undergo screening and served as a comparison group.

The mortality rate for men who underwent screening was not significantly different from that in the control group, although tumors in the screened group tended to be smaller and more localized.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Chad LaGrange, an assistant professor of urology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, said he believes the findings actually add "much more uncertainty" to an already complex problem.

With more and more studies on the subject, "guidelines have become vague recommendations," he said. "We don't really have any good rules anymore."

The bottom line: "It's not just as simple as PSA screening either works or it doesn't. Patients should talk about it with their doctor," LaGrange said. "PSA testing shouldn't be just a reflex anymore."

But the good news hidden here is that the number of prostate cancer deaths continues to decline, whether it be better screening or better treatment, he said. "We're doing something right," LaGrange stated.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on getting tested for prostate cancer.

SOURCES: Gabriel Sandblom, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Chad LaGrange, M.D., assistant professor, urology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha; Durado Brooks, M.D., director, prostate and colon cancer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; March 31, 2011, BMJ, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New tool allows for an alternate method of prostate cancer diagnosis
2. New Therapy for Enlarged Prostate May Bypass Unpleasant Side Effects
3. Short Course of Hormone Therapy Boosts Prostate Cancer Survival: Study
4. Long-term study: Robot-assisted prostate surgery is safe
5. Statins make radiation more effective at curing prostate cancer
6. Apnea may be cause for awakening and voiding for those with enlarged prostates report Ben-Gurion U.
7. Research shows rapid adoption of newer, more expensive prostate cancer treatments
8. 70 percent of prostate cancer patients on ADT gain significant weight in first year
9. Acquisition of robotic technology leads to increased rates of prostate cancer surgery
10. Trapping prostate cancer cells to keep them from spreading provides hope
11. Rapid Rise in PSA Levels a Poor Predictor of Prostate Cancer: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Prostate Cancer Screening Doesn't Cut Death Rates: Study
(Date:6/25/2016)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its ... be the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom ... of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result ... more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, affiliated with ... as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. , Dr. ... handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He stands by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any dentist ... many challenges of the current process. Many of them do ... of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And ... to offer it at such a high cost that the ... it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription ... are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: